Collagen supplements are suddenly everywhere. Health-conscious fans of the dietary supplement are scooping collagen into their morning coffee, green juices, and superfood smoothies -- and raving about the results.
Everyone is Drinking Collagen. Here's Why.
Collagen is everywhere in your body. It’s the most abundant protein in your body. It’s found in most connective tissues such as bone, ligaments, tendons, and skin. Collagen is what gives skin elasticity and strength. Unfortunately, your body’s collagen production slows with age.
And age isn’t the only factor that can decrease collagen production and lead to signs of aging, such as wrinkles, and thin, dry, and saggy skin. Sun exposure, smoking, stress, or a high-sugar diet can also lead to less collagen production and more visible signs of aging.
Can collagen supplements turn back the hands of time?
A growing number of scientific studies are suggesting so.
Collagen Supplements Offer Real Benefits to Aging Skin
Several controlled clinical trials have been performed proving that dietary collagen offers some pretty amazing, anti-aging benefits for the skin.
Improved Skin Elasticity
In one controlled clinical trial, women aged 40-60 showed a significant improvement in skin elasticity after 12 weeks of using hydrolyzed collagen (also known as collagen peptides) and vitamins compared to a control group.
In addition 81% of the women in this study presented a decrease in total number of pores after taking collagen for 12 weeks.
The study authors concluded that a combination of collagen and vitamin supplementation was effective at improving skin’s elasticity, as well as reducing wrinkles and pores after three months of use.
Another study revealed the effectiveness of collagen supplements to increase skin hydration after 8 weeks of supplementation.
One double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial on French women aged 35 - 55 revealed a 30% decrease in the formation of deep wrinkles after 12 weeks of collagen peptide supplementation.
Can Collagen Supplements Banish Cellulite?
Nearly 90% of women are affected by cellulite: a dimpling of the skin on the thighs, hips, or buttocks. Many women go to great lengths to try and get rid of cellulite. But expensive creams and treatments may not be necessary; a study shows collagen supplementation may be just the thing to reduce cellulite.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, researchers investigated the efficacy of collagen peptides on the cellulite treatment of normal and overweight women. A total of 105 women aged 24-50 years with moderate cellulite were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of 2.5g of collagen peptides or a placebo for 6 months.
The group that received collagen peptides showed statistically significant decreases in the degree of cellulite and reduced skin waviness on thighs in normal weight women compared to the placebo group. Overweight women also showed a decrease in degree of cellulite, although not as statistically significant compared to their normal weight counterparts.
After 6 months, the normal weight women had a decreased cellulite score of 9% compared to the placebo group, a smoother surface of the thighs while lying down, and a decrease in thigh dimpling while standing.
The results of the study demonstrated that a regular ingestion of collagen peptides over a period of 6 months led to a clear improvement of the skin appearance in women suffering from moderate cellulite.
How Does it Work?
Several studies have shown that collagen peptides are absorbed as amino acids like other protein sources, but they’re also absorbed as collagen-derived peptides. That means they’re able to cross the intestinal barrier, enter the blood circulation system, and be transported to the skin. Once they’ve reached the target connective tissue, collagen peptides are able to affect the metabolic processes of the skin and offer their anti-aging benefits.
How to Use Collagen Supplements
Collagen peptides (also known as hydrolyzed collagen) are odorless and flavorless, which makes taking them easy as pie. They can be added to hot or cold foods and beverages.
Add a scoop of collagen to your morning coffee, juice, or tea. Stir them into oatmeal, a smoothie, or chia seed pudding bowl.
Studies and clinical trials have shown some impressive beauty benefits of supplementing with collagen peptides, with promising results: improved hallmarks of skin aging, fewer wrinkles and pores, improved skin elasticity, and even a reduction in cellulite.
Looks like collagen is living up to the hype, after all.